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Going where the sun keeps shining

Jeez, Callaghan, you sound really tired today … Oh, but that's right — The closer situation has left Red Sox fans tossing and turning at night. Heh heh.


I'm sleeping like a baby, Mahty, but thanks for the concern and all.


Doesn't it astound you Bill that Theo Epstein can go after JD Drew like he's Angelie Jolie going after a 3rd World orphan … so much passion, so much showering of gifts on Drew while being so blasé about finding a closer?


Well, obviously we need to fill the closer role, but I don't think that's a weakness.


Not a weakness? Not a weakness? What are they putting in the water up there in Bahstin anyway?


Despite the absence, for now, of a definitive closer, this bullpen is not that bad. It is probably the best bullpen the Red Sox have had since 2004.


Considering your '05 and '06 clubs, that's like saying the Heaven's Gate death cult wasn't as bad as the Jim Jones death cult because fewer people died but, you know, in the end everyone is still dead.


The 2006 club had a lot of life.


Bill, I hate to break it to you, but the games played in August and September actually count. Heh.


Injuries, Mahts, injuries. It's like Schilling writes on his blog, we are much better suited depth wise to handle an injury this year than last.


And the AL East team whose stahting rotation spends the fewest days on the DL ovah the course of the season will win the division.


If you've been paying attention, Mahty, you might have noticed the Boston stahtahs are looking mighty fine this spring.


Ah, yes, hope springs eternal in the Sawx fan breast.


Why not? Did you see Matsuzaka, the game's best numbah 3 stahtah, against the Pirates? 96 mph fastballs to go with the big curve, tight slidah, and Wiffleball change.


Like I said, Mahty, I'm sleeping fine at night.


Enjoy it while you can, Bill, as it's going to get really hot and muggy come August. We'll see how rested you feel then.


Can't hahdly wait, Mahty. Can't hahdly wait.


Update: [Computer voice] "You've reached the office of Martin Silverstein, at the tone please leave a brief message…"

Hey, Mahty, have you heard the news? We've got a mofo closah. His name is Jonathan Papelbon. Perhaps you've heard of him? Now whose ass is sweatin'? Heh heh.



Man the mere sight of Marty at this hour in the day makes me feel like I need to take another shower. I'll take our rotation over Pettite, Pavano, Wang, Igawa (minor leaguer) and Bullwinkle the Moose any day. But that should go without saying.

Yeah, but neither of them are sleeping as well as Tony LaRussa....pinched for being DUI and asleep in his SUV at a traffic light in God's waiting room; Florida.

I'm not concerned about the whole closer thing...the quality of arms in the BP is better than any time since 2004.

Wow. I'm unaccustomed to Bill's sanguine attitude in the face of Mahty's verbal onslaught. Oddly enough, I'm mostly sharing Bill's view at the moment. Yeah, I'd like a better comfort level with the whole closer situation, but I'm just not as worked up about it as maybe I should be.

Season starts in just over a week.
"Can't hahdly wait, Mahty. Can't hahdly wait."

Wait a minute...is Wakefield the number 2 starter?

Manny made the Globe editorial page:


For some reason, this reminds me of the excited utterance from one of the Manson girls during his trial:

"Charlie made the cover of Time!"

Love ya Bill, but "The 2006 Club had a lot of life" ???

That's like saying Lindsay Lohan has a lot of self-control.

She has her moments, but in the end she's just a crotch-revealing drunk. Not that I have a problem with that.

"Wait a minute...is Wakefield the number 2 starter?"

Nope, #5: Schill, Becks, Mats, Paps, Wake

And my money is on Pineiro and Air Supply striking fear into the hearts of batters in the 9th Inning this season. IIRC, no runs allowed in his last six appearances? Not that it means anything, but...

"Wait a minute...is Wakefield the number 2 starter?"

Hmmm... I feel like I may have missed some sarcasm there.

I was intrigued by Schill's comment that he would "sell ice cream" to be on the same team as Clemens....

Tangent alert (and I know lc is with me on this): how AMAZING is Friday Night Lights? Simply one of the best shows on TV, and the little touches are perfect. In one scene last night, in the liquor store, you can hear Dwight Yoakam playing on the radio in the background. Awesome.

"The hero is never a hero to his valet -- not because the hero is not a hero but because the valet is a valet." - Boston Globe editorial

"I'm willing to be a hero in the dark" - Hideki Okajima

I'm with you Natalie. FNL just keeps getting better. (With that said, though, I haven't watched last night's epi yet. Will do tonight.)

They are still unsure if they will pick it up for a 2nd season, but I think they will.

And speaking of TV, I think Lost had its jumping the shark moment last night.

A box that answers your wishes? WTF!?!?!

Michaelmc, I have that problem all the time. From what I've heard, the accepted emoticon for sarcasm is a tilde after the stop mark in the "sarcastic" line, eg. Wait a minute...is Wakefield the number 2 starter?~

I humbly suggest we start using it here. Because we all know Skankee fans can't recognize sarcasm.~

And your assuming Skankee fans know what a tilde is? ~

Isn't Tilde one of the Valkyries from Das Rheingold?~

There's a beer that has its own Valkyries? ~

I'm so worried that the Sox haven't named a closer!~

Hazel Mae's fiancee:



Lost hasn't jumped the shark... I mean to date, we've been drinking that kool ade, and accepting the plausibility of: An island that restores broken backs, 6 numbers that prevent an explosion, Ben -- who is all-seeing about everyone, a black cloud that has no respect for a Jesus stick, all overseen by a Chinaman in a lab coat who occasionally flies over and drops a pallet of "white-box brand" cheerios.

Yep, makes perfect sense to me.

What the hell is up with all the tildes?~

Re: Lost. I've thrown in the towel on the series. Was watching with the Mrs. last night and about 10-15 minutes in I picked up an old Raymond Feist book and started reading. The show has really dropped into the crapper for me. The most interesting revelation of the season for me was finding out Matthew Fox went to my alma mater and has created a stir by being named keynote speaker at this Spring's Commencement.

What, Paul Rueubens, aka "Pee Wee Herman" was already booked?~~

Guess I'll be foregoing this year's annual fund drive telethon.

I dunno. I think last night's Lost was the best episode of the current half-season. FINALLY we find out how Locke was paralyzed.

Don't you see them all the time, Bob? I know I do. They ride pink elephants and look vaguely like the St Pauli Girl, stein's aplenty.


Is a tilde an underscore for Soxdownunder?

A Ma-tilde?

No, no. Brun-tilde, the chick with the sheet metal bra from Das Rheingold. That Robert Wagner, what a great composer. :-D

Like the man said, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings."

In re: Lost. I am generally the first to jump down their throat on all the shenanigans, but I was wildly entertained by the whole Jack-sucking-Ben-balls-to-get-off-the-"island" thing. Plus, I think there remain 3 or four male wigs that exist in the universe that Locke hasn't worn in a flashback yet. So, I have to see those. Plus the whole Jack/Claire/Dr.Dad heptangle has got to have an payoff.

More importantly,
In Lost's defense, they aren't phoning it in. This year they hired Brian K. Vaughan to be a writer and story editor. The dude has massive cred, with me at least. Vaughan has written most of the major DC and Marvel characters, including Batman and the X-Men. He created Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina.

As for FNL the show kicks a*^ hands down. Last night's was especially gripping. My only complaint was that the biker chick with neck tatoos was also cast in a Wendy's commercial that aired during the show.
Yes, I need a hobby....


Liked much about last night's Lost, in particular the pushed out the window scene, which caught my totally by surprise...

I just thought the "box that makes wishes come true" totally pissed on my parade.

Though I'm hoping that's just some whacky Ben mojo he's putting on Locke and there really is no such box and that the "dad" got there some other way.

I still buy the idea that Locke's dad looks remarkably similar of the Honso (sp?) founder of Dharma character from the brief/shadowy appearance in the hatch training film.

The dad and Ben are most likely playing a long con on Locke.

Anyone else digging "Walk-off Sox"? I just remember to go to NESN 10 minutes before the end and catch the heroics. It's obviously predictable, but it is helping me to get excited for the season. Fun memories, too.

Die Walkure is OK, but IMO Tannhauser is Wagner's best. Listen to Birgit Nilsson sing "Dich Teure Halle." Whoa.

But Wagner spent 30 yrs. trying to top Beethoven. He needed someone to intervene and tell him: Richard, you're a talented guy, but you could live 10 lifetimes and it will never happen.

Nice Midnight Cowboy/Nilsson title reference, BTW

Wish I could join in the fun about Lost, but never have time for TV (unless it's a Sox game).

The obnoxious literary critic in me feels the need to be let out. Callahan needs to give something back to Marty a little more often. I mean, I dig the humility and wish I was more like that, but the relationship is too often one dimensional and risks becoming stale. Marty calls, Bill displays quiet courage, the fuse is lit for some upcoming thing in the rivalry. This level of reparate for this long just looks sick to me, and I don't understand why either character would stay in it.

Don't get me wrong, it's fun to watch, but that relationship needs to go somewhere. Have Marty call Bill from the hospital after a triple bypass to show the depths of his depravity, have Bill tell Marty he's a retard and hang up after losing it, have Marty be the humble one in an exchange of roles that leaves them both wondering, have something happen besides the same exchange. These guys are too good to stay the same.


Mahty's Dich caught Teure Halle from the twins (Mystique and Aura) at Jeter's sleepover.

Nice catch with the Nilsson song reference, Jason. Auschetziechnet!

screw marty. seriously. he's got nothin' right now.

It has to stay the same because it ALWAYS the same when dealing with that type of Yankees fan.

You'll see this in real-life when they troll into the comments here? It's always the same lines over and over.

Bill isn't taking the high road with Marty so much as he's numb to it as he's been hearing it for 30 years from Marty.

FWIW, in the past 9 months Bill has hung up on Marty, has refused to answer the phone, as well as having given it to Marty pretty good. (And when Bill did that, I had several people comment on how "out of character" that was.)

And of course we had the recent revelation that Marty is big time Democrat and supporter of Hillary Clinton while Bill is an Obama man at this point.

But, yeah, it maybe it is stale, but the Marty character only comes in about a dozen times a year. Not a whole lot one can do.

His role is to antagonize. That's it.

Also, I have to confess, I typically turn to Marty when I'm out of gas. Believe it or not, doing a Lisa the Temp piece requires more effort, so Marty is a real crutch for me from time to time.

Actually, Lisa is the most difficult character to do, which is terrible since she was meant to be the go to gal when I had nothing to give.

Ah, well...

In any event, I do appreciate it when readers are thinking about the characters this way and comment on it.

no no, nothing against you doing a marty strip, h.b.--i was actually kind of just reacting to the character, because he gets a rise out of me. that's a compliment.

Working from home today and watching the Sox game--- they just announced Papelbon is going back into the closer role.

never mind, you weren't even talking to me. carry on. :(

no prob, Beth. I should have made it more clear I was responding to Mike above. And Mike's points are good ones.

Anyway, this news about Paps as closer means the Red Sox are really going for it this year, I guess.

The conventional wisdom is they saw more importance, long term, in making Papelbon into a true #1 starter guy even if it meant losses from a less capable pitcher in the closer role.

Natalie - Is that correct? Per the Red Sox web site:

"The Red Sox can rest their bullpen for Thursday's 1:05 p.m. ET contest in Clearwater against the Phillies. Starting pitchers Tim Wakefield and Jonathan Papelbon will split up the outing. Wakefield is scheduled to go five innings and Papelbon is expected to finish out the game from there."

Does that make Paps the closer? Is that what you heard? Or are they really bringing him back to the pen as the Closer?

Bradford says rumors are circulating

NESN had Erin Andrews reporting that the Sox are going to make an official annoucement that Paps is to be the closer right after the game. Then they talked about Tavarez or Lester taking his place in the rotation...That's all I got!

Sorry, I meant ESPN not NESN.

Hey, check this out on SI.

Which Red Sox fan site has the best info?

Kind of weird to find Soxaholix there, as this is definitely not an "info" site. I'm not sure what it is really. :)

Jumpin' Jeebus! Papelbon to the Pen and Bat Shit into the starter's role? Per Bradford's entry yesterday, Tavares had as many bases on balls as the entire starters' group during all of ST.

I can't decide how I feel about this.

FWIW...Tavarez has shown himself to be more effective as a starter than a reliever. And who can root against Lester? I mean, in theory. In reality, I can root against him.

If Papelbon is there to close again (and if he can resemble his 2006 self) I think this is a great move for the Sox, especially as HB puts it, for this year. That said, the number of guys who repeat their role as closers effectively really isn't all that high. Still, I think Papelbon has the stuff and makeup to be a bankable relief pitcher.

h.b. - congrats! You got my vote; where else can we learn about Jenn-Air grills, sports curses, tabi socks, and rotation changes all in one compact easy-to-swallow form. Soxaholix is like the little pill Jane Jetson puts in the space age machine and out comes Thanksgiving dinner for five.

Jane, stop this crazy thing!

Yup, we went through this last year, Dave S. He overthrew in relief and did better as a starter due to being more relaxed and pacing himself (so went the theory). Still, it's batshit being batshit. I wished him dead at least a dozen times last year.

I'm in for a vote. I learn more about literature and 4-key keyboards on this site than I did in College.

ps woot-off in progress, not much getting done today.


I know it probably crushes Papelbon, but I prefer him in the closer for now than Piniero or anything else I've heard about this spring so far. We all know he's got the goods to go all the way, there's no need to jump out of the gate in Year 2 to prove it to us.

With Beckett, Schilling, and Matsuzaka, there's not a lot of room at the top for JP, so why not keep the wins the starters get by closing it out with a superstar rather than praying for a miracle from a washout or total rookie. If those 3 get over 60 wins, then we're doing really well and our fourth/fifth starters could be Wakefield and a bag of peanuts and we'd still probably win the AL East with 100+ wins total. Who knows, they might have something cooking behind the scenes to get us a bona fide closer and let Papelbon move up to a starter role by mid-season.

Or, Kaz, maybe something cooking behind the scenes to get us another starter? One who may be available mid-season? One with a storied Sox legacy? Hmmmmmm.......

Okay, Curt Schilling is discussing the Papelbon move on his blog right now... and the Sox have yet to make the official announcement.

Okay, Curt Schilling is discussing the Papelbon move on his blog right now

I LOVE the interwebs!

hb- I concur. God bless that Al Gore ;)

especially since you just KNOW Curt is loving the fact he scooped some of the MSM on this....

I disagree that Marty's relationship/tone with Bill is static. Last year and the year before, Marty consistently gave it to Bill and Bill basically just had to take it and was constantly flustered.

Recently, it's been a more even exchange, with Marty showing the first signs of being flustered soon after the Sox got 'zaka. Bill (pre-season) has maintained his cool, and Marty's been on a more even keel recently too.

Also agreed that in real life this relationship does not change with certain types of Yankee fans. After 2004, one Yankee fan I know became more generally respectful and able to discuss baseball rationally with me. Another guy just continues to give me shit.

Good point, Devine.

And speaking of Bill and Marty, well, the strip has been updated to account for current events.

Is Marty an Orthodox Jewish person? Just wondering...

Not Orthodox. He's Jewish the way a lot of people are Catholic, i.e, when getting married, during major feast/ceremony days, and on deathbed etc.

Good to know (but not sure why).

As for Paps as closer, I agree with the comment that the Sahx are throwing everything against the wall for this year. Regardless of all other factors, it's hard to believe that Wake, Schill, and Timlin will be around next year, time being a bitch and all. Unless Mothra pitches on 17 hours rest, there's going to be some holes in the rotation in OH-EIGHT. I think it also means that Theo-san thinks that Lester is close to having the strength to start for a good part of the year. I thought Ol' Catcher's Mitt Face Tavarez looked good starting at the end of last year, but as Mahty points out today, some years the games count in August and September. I mean, in KC, Devern Hansack would be on the front of the Media Guide because he pitched a 5-inning no-hitter angainst the Orioles { Heloooooo Matt Young!].

Now that I am rambling, let me observe that the season tickets this year are revealing for whose photos are on the tickets [suggesting to me that they will be around for the whole year]-- Manny, Tek, 38, Wake, Youk, Pap, Papi, Mothra. No Nancy, Cereal Boy, Pedr0-4ia, Lugo, Belli, or the aformentioned Skeletor. As I recall, last year Manny was left off.

And, hb,, a tip of the old tampon hat to the call-back to John Lennon's former drinking buddy Harry Nilsson in the title of today's creepy strip.


'a tip of the old tampon hat' - yikes! Pithy, degenerate, surly, lovable.

I think the move (Paps to the Pen) is a good one (but who cares!). I also have this feeling in my bones that Batshit T. is going to come good. As to the interwebs and the should-have-been-president-of-the-United States-if-weren't-for-a-bunch-of-conspiratorial southern-cheats-and-Supreme-Court-cronies I totally agree. Were it not for these I may just be some boring Ozzie cricket fan who occasionally got to watch the world series!

I felt a great disturbance in the Sox, as if millions of men suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

Hazel Mae is off the market.

--insert close-up of Native American with single tear--

Blue Jays player Kevin Baker is a lucky, lucky, lucky bastard.

A little clean-up: The reference to the "tampon hat" was not just a vile expression; rather, it was a call-back to the brief period when John Lennon was separated from Y.Ono and was getting shitfaced in LA with Harry Nilsson. Lennon was famously photographed wearing headgear fashioned from a tampon. Nilsson,of course died from heart attack and diabetes in the early '90's,hastened no doubt by his fondness for drink.

h.b. That SI poll is cool. I'm a slow learner,I just thought it was an online thing. But, I picked up the hard copy and there it was in the SI RS preview. Get ready to monetize the page views! We (um,me)are behind you 100%.


I agree with Devine. And I always like the Bill/Marty strips.

(After typing that I noticed something funny.)

As I was out waltzin’ me ‘tilda,
A runaway hyphen near killed her,
A grammatical glitch,
Put her straight in a ditch
‘Tis enough to cause shock and bewilder.

[Bewilderment don’t rhyme]
[Missed the tilda stuff earlier, too preoccupied by lc's hat]

The poll also appears in the print issue of SI this week. There is list of the best team sites for each team.

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